Almost 70 per cent work on the ambitious Kashi Vishwanath Dham project has been completed. The deadline for completion of the Rs 700 crore project is November 15.
Varanasi divisional commissioner Deepak Agrawal said, “Of the total buildings proposed inside the KV Dham project area, the structural work on 15 major buildings has been completed. Besides beginning the finishing and interior work in these 15 buildings, work of Mandir Chowk and Kashi Vishwanath temple’s main premises has also been finalized.”
He said that the work of floor construction is taking place inside KVT premises. “We are working at an accelerated pace to meet the deadline,” he added.
The second wave of Covid was largely responsible for the delay in completion of the project and led to rescheduling of its deadline.
Now, instead of the deadline of August-end, the project deadline was shifted to November.
New features like Ganga view point, which were added later to this project, will be completed later as formality of approval by the state government could also not be taken due to the second wave of the pandemic.
Talking about the delay caused due to the second wave of Covid-19, the commissioner said, “The official leading the team of the company executing the KV Dham project had become Covid-19 positive himself. Not only this, but a large number of labourers, including many from West Bengal, had left for their homes with the surge in Covid cases. Moreover, the wave also compelled the working agency to minimise manpower for maintaining social distancing at work sites as per Covid protocol. These factors hampered the progress of the project. However, we are still confident of completing the remaining work by November 15.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had laid the foundation of the project on March 9, 2018. The project was continuing at an accelerated pace till the pandemic set in.
PWD executive engineer Sanjay Gore, who is supervising the project, which is to come up in an area of 5.30 lakh square feet, said, “Despite the odds created by two waves of Covid-19, efforts continued for timely completion of the project. A total of 24 buildings are coming up in the KV Dham area. Of these, structural work of 15 has been fully completed and further work, including finishing and interior is in progress. Work on nine buildings is in progress while construction of three has been started recently due to logistic reasons.”
He said, “Construction of jetty and its retaining wall at Manikarnika, Jalasen and Lalita Ghats had already been completed. We can say that about 69-70 per cent work of KV Dham is complete and finalisation of exterior stone work has also started giving the glimpse of the beauty that this shrine will have after completion.”
In January 2020, the Gujarat-based company, assigned the contract for KV Dham construction under the supervision of PWD, had started work with a deadline of 18 months to complete the project.
Before the commencement of construction, the state government had spent over Rs 300 for the purchase of 296 identified buildings after which a budget of Rs 347.5 crore was approved for the construction work.